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Civil Appeal No. 6613 of 2021

Decided On: 22.09.2022

Appellants: Maitreya Doshi Vs. Respondent: Anand Rathi Global Finance Ltd. and Ors.

Hon'ble Judges/Coram:
Indira Banerjee and J.K. Maheshwari


Indira Banerjee, J.

1. This appeal Under Section 62 of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code 2016, hereinafter referred to as the 'IBC', is against a judgment and Order dated 25th August 2021, passed by the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT), dismissing the Company Appeal (AT) (Insolvency) No. 191 of 2021 filed by the Appellant, against an order dated 19th February 2021, passed by the Adjudicating Authority (National Company Law Tribunal), NCLT, Mumbai Bench admitting a Company Petition C.P. (IB) No. 1220/MB/2020 filed by the Respondent No. 1 - Anand Rathi Global Finance Limited as Financial Creditor, for initiation of the Corporate Insolvency Resolution Process (CIRP) of M/s. Doshi Holdings Pvt. Ltd., hereinafter referred to as "Doshi Holdings", Under Section 7 of the IBC. The Appellant is a suspended Director of Doshi Holdings.

2. The Respondent No. 1, a Non-banking Financial Company, hereinafter referred to as the "Financial Creditor" disbursed loan to the tune of Rs. 6 Crores to M/s. Premier Limited, hereinafter referred to as "Premier" under three separate Loan-cum-Pledge Agreements, dated 29th June 2015, 4th May 2016 and 5th October 2016, respectively. According to the Appellant, Doshi Holdings pledged shares held by it in Premier, in favour of the Financial Creditor, by way of security for the loan.

3. According to the Appellant, the Loan-cum-Pledge Agreements contemplated two distinct transactions under one document, that is, grant of loan to Premier, and creation of pledge by Doshi Holdings of securities held by the Doshi Holdings in Premier.

4. Premier failed to make repayments in terms of the Loan-cum-Pledge Agreements. The Financial Creditor, therefore, called upon Premier to repay its outstanding dues of Rs. 7,64,60,360/- on diverse dates between 28th June 2019 and 10th February 2020.

5. By a communication dated 14th February 2020, the Financial Creditor called upon Premier and Doshi Holdings, also described as the borrower under the Loan-cum-Pledge Agreements, to pay the entire outstanding loan amount.

6. By a letter dated 19th February 2020, Premier admitted and acknowledged its liability to pay its outstanding dues to the Financial Creditor under the Loan-cum-Pledge Agreements, but stated that it could not pay the same on account of genuine difficulty.

7. On 21st September 2020, the Financial Creditor filed a petition Under Section 7 of the IBC being C.P.(IB) No. 1224/MB/2020 for initiation of CIRP against Premier for default in repayment of Rs. 8,35,25,398/-.

8. On the same day, the Financial Creditor also filed a petition against Doshi Holdings, Under Section 7 of the IBC, for initiation of CIRP in respect of the same claim of Rs. 8,35,25,398/-, based on the same loan documents.

9. Both the petitions filed by the Financial Creditor were heard together by the A........